Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

City of Adelaide (The Carrick to Glaswegians) transport timeline

(See also original Clipper ship cradle about to set sail for Scotland – 28 October 2011).

We’ve raised the issue of the treatment of the remains of the clipper City of Adelaide, or The Carrick if you watched it sink while moored in Glasgow, with some despair.

We often accept reality and that not every relic can be retained in pristine and ‘as-new’ conditions, but the way the City of Adelaide was treated is unforgivable, since it was – or rather is – the world’s oldest clipper ship. The only other surviving composite iron- frame and timber-hull clipper is said to be the Cutty Sark, and that is five years younger.

The City of Adelaide was built in 1864, its job to bring early settlers from the UK to the infant colony of South Australia. The state’s longest-established families are linked to the ship, and it has been estimated nearly a quarter of a million descendants of its passengers now live in Australia.

It’s final journey to the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine should have seen its future secured – that’s the idea behind a museum, isn’t it?

City of Adelaide or The Carrick

Remains of the City of Adelaide pictured on the slipway at the Scottish Maritime Museum Irvine in 2005 © Chris Allen

Instead, it lay derelict and decaying, and was so unwanted that it was first due to be deconstructed – a process whereby researchers would take it to pieces and record the structure in detail, together with the methods of construction, destroying the hull in the process.

When that didn’t happen, it was reported that the hull was simply going to be demolished to clear the ground it lay on.

Apparently that news was not well received when it went public, and this option was shelved.

Australians finally rescue City of Adelaide

Although we had been trying to keep an eye on the media, apart from local news, nothing else was spotted, primarily because we were completely unaware of what was happening on the other side of the world, and without that knowledge had no idea what to target our searches on. Unfortunately, being named ‘City of Adelaide’ meant that it was all but impossible to get results that did not favour the city rather than the rotting hull lying in Irvine.

To save looking for them again, I’ve listed them below, together with their dates of publication:

Historic City of Adelaide clipper ship on course for 2011 homecoming | News.com.au. May 31, 2011.

The 100-tonne cradle will be built in Adelaide, dismantled for transport to Scotland in shipping containers, then reassembled there and placed under the ship. On wheels, the cradle will then carry the ship, which now sits on a slipway at Irvine near Glasgow, and roll it on to a low-draft barge, which will take it to a transit port for craning on to an ocean-going ship that will bring the cradle and clipper to Port Adelaide. Mr Roberts said the cradle would cost about $1 million to design and build commercially but was being done for a fraction of that thanks to materials and labour being donated. But help was still needed, he said. The Scottish Government was providing some funds for the ship’s removal but the trust was still looking for help from the Australian Federal Government to transport the ship.

City of Adelaide work to begin – Local News – News – Portside Messenger. June 24, 2011.

CONSTRUCTION of a giant 100-tonne steel cradle, to support historic clipper City of Adelaide on her journey to the Port from Scotland, will begin at Gillman next week.

A ceremony to mark the start of the project will be held at Samaras Structural Engineers on Monday morning (June 27).

A bottle of champagne will be cracked over the first piece of the cradle by Pam Whittle, the great-grand-daughter of the clipper’s first captain, David Bruce, and Marion Wells, the great-great-granddaughter of migrant Matilda Methuen.

The Scottish government decided to allow its permanent return to the Port last year.

The building of the cradle will be a joint effort by more than 15 engineering firms from around the state, donating labour and materials.

Adelaide firms Aztec Analysis and Bown Contracting and Drafting have designed the cradle so that it can be built over several sites across SA, then shipped to Glasgow in containers for assembly underneath the City of Adelaide.

The clipper and cradle will then be rolled onto a barge for transfer to a deep port at Rotterdam, where it will be transferred to a larger ship for the voyage to Port Adelaide.

$1m cradle built to transport clipper to SA – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). October 28, 2011.

Another step has been taken towards bringing the City of Adelaide clipper to South Australia from Scotland. A $1 million cradle has been built at Gillman in Adelaide and is about to be shipped to Scotland.

2012 arrival date for City of Adelaide clipper | Adelaide Now. December 28, 2011.

The first two containers of prefabricated components of a large steel cradle left Port Adelaide at the end of October and will arrive at Irvine, where the ship sits, on January 6. A further three containers, each also carrying 15 to 20 tonnes of cradle parts, will leave Port Adelaide on Friday and are due in Scotland in late February. The cradle will be moved under the ship’s hull by late March.

Carrick ready for the off – Irvine Herald. January 13, 2012.

The first two containers of prefabricated components of the cradle arrived in Irvine on Friday. The last three containers, each carrying 15 to 20 tonnes of cradle parts, are due in late February.

The Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Ready by March for Transport to Australia | Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea. January 19, 2012.

The first two containers containing sections of the shipping cradle have now arrived in Irvine, Scotland. The last three containers, each carrying 15 to 20 tonnes of cradle parts, are due in late February.  Once the cradle is reassembled under the ship, the 150-year-old clipper and cradle will be moved onto a barge for transfer onto an ocean-going ship for the voyage to Port Adelaide, Australia.  The current target date is the end of March, if all goes well.

City of Adelaide

City of Adelaide lying at Irvine on February 07 2012 © wfmillar

Update 2013

As this post has already grown to quite a length, and the move has already gone on hold for a year due to the weather and other tests, I will not be extending it further.

Please check for newer posts in the blog, and update after March 2013, when The Scottish Maritime Museum announced that work on the move was due to get underway once more:

City of Adelaide Clipper Ship 2013 – The Work Has Begun

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February 2, 2012 - Posted by | Appeal, Maritime, Transport | , , , , , , , , ,

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